Cool gadgets: Tank drone, KFC keyboard and FOVE VR headset

25 May 2015

This week in gadget happenings: Kickstarter galore as one person tries to launch a drone that’s also a tank and another tries to fund an eye-tracking virtual reality (VR) headset, while KFC launches a Bluetooth keyboard.

The B-Unstoppable drone tank

There’s more drones on the market these days than you can throw a stick (or drone) at, but one that’s trying to make headway in the world is the B-Unstoppable, a drone that also acts as a bona fide tank, minus the weaponry.

The menacing-looking drone takes its name rather literally given its design is based on the black and yellow of a bee and, while flimsy-looking, it has the potential to be a pretty handy device for getting around different terrain.

B Unstoppable drone

Image via Kickstarter

There does appear to be a massive downside, however, with the company developing it saying the B-Unstoppable only has a flight time of nine minutes, but it can last fractionally longer when it’s driving on its tracks — between 12 and 18 minutes.

It also comes with the option of adding a camera, albeit low-res, capable of shooting 1280 x 720 at 30 frames per second. At its current backing price it’s incredibly cheap, with prices starting at stg£59 (€77).

KFC Tray Typer keyboard

Now, this I can get down to. While KFC might not be to everyone’s tastes, they’ve certainly come good with a neat idea to prevent you getting your smartphone screen covered in grease as you eat your meal.

The clever marketing folk behind the KFC Tray Typer campaign replaced the usual paper tray that gets dumped in the rubbish bin with an ultra-thin Bluetooth keyboard that could connect to a person’s phone and let them type messages without needing to touch the screen.

The keyboard is also rechargeable for future greasy-food eating and, as part of the campaign, KFC allowed the people to take the keyboard with them for future use, which, unsurprisingly, was a huge success.

It’s ‘finger-typing good’, apparently.

55in wallpaper OLED screen from LG

Speaking of ultra-thin, how does a 55in TV as thin as wallpaper sound?

Well, LG has just showcased its new OLED TV, which is 0.97mm thick, weighs just 1.9kg and can be thrown up on a wall with the help of a few magnets.

You can even roll it up and carry it around to make it as mobile as possible.

LG wallpaper TV on display

LG TV image via LG

Compared with LG’s current 55in TV, it’s a bit thinner than the still-thin 4.3mm. The company has yet to say when the wafer-thin TV will make its debut but the company and Yeo Sang-deog, the head of LG Display’s OLED division, said it has ambitions to ramp up production of OLED TVs over the coming year.

This journalist is certainly waiting to see what it can offer when it’s eventually released.

To-scale Hulk figurine

Avengers: Age of Ultron might have been met with a mixed reception by critics, but those who don’t care what they have to say and who are fans of the series can get the closest thing to actually appearing in the film with a To-scale model of the Hulk.

Costing US$38,000, it stands at a height of 3.4m, weighs 180kg and is made entirely from fibreglass.

Where you can put a giant Hulk statue is anyone’s guess, but Polymark Toys, the French company behind the design, clearly feel there’s a market for the giant green fibreglass monster.

The Hulk Polymark Toys figurine

Hulk figurine image via Polymark Toys

FOVE eye-tracking VR headset

Now that the Oculus Rift finally has a launch date and HTC’s Vive headset is also on the way, it could be argued there’s nearly an over-abundance of VR headsets and now we are due for one more, the FOVE headset, with its USP being that it has eye-tracking software.

Having surpassed its Kickstarter target of US$250,000, the team will now be able to develop the headset, which allows the user to control the VR world with their eyes and influence the game inside.

Eye reading tech used in FOVE headset

Eye-reading tech used in FOVE headset. Image via Kickstarter

It’s calling itself the third generation of VR headsets in that it allows the user to become emotionally connected to an in-game character, such as the one in its tech demo where the girl responds to eye contact by smiling.

Backers who want to pick up one of the headsets can go to their FOVE Kickstarter page, where the early-bird price is US$375.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic